The Rapp for Sept. 2

Sperryville slows down

VDOT (the Virginia Department of Transportation) has reduced the speed limit on U.S. 522 through Sperryville to 35 mph as you approach the village heading north from Route 231 to just south of Route 1001, and reduced it to 25 mph in both directions from south of Route 1001 to the U.S. 211 intersection.

The speed limit changes, requested several months ago by county supervisor Mike Biniek (whose district includes Sperryville) and others, become effective today (Sept. 2), according to VDOT.

The view is part of the package at Caledonia Farm-1812.

Caledonia’s 25th

Caledonia Farm-1812 Bed and Breakfast in Flint Hill is celebrating its 25th anniversary this weekend, having opened its doors to its first customers on Labor Day of 1985.

Caledonia is today the oldest continually owned and operated B&B in the area (second only to Conyers House, a country inn), according to owner and host Phil Irwin. Caledonia is a National Register structure that dates to 1812. Irwin has also been invited to mark the Federal fieldstone building’s 200th year by having it on the October 2012 house tour.

The structure was a derelict until its total restoration in 1965. It is surrounded by 135 acres that are under open-space easement protection and permanently dedicated to cattle production and wildlife habitat.

Amenities include snacks and beverages for guests upon arrival. A full breakfast is served from a menu. Guests can enjoy lawn games, the library, piano, videos and an optional tour that includes an extensive miniature railroad display. A favorite among birders — Caledonia is Stop No. 1 on Virginia’s Birding and Wildlife Trail — the inn also offers stalls for guests’ horses, a CREP area with a pond for catch-and-release fishing and bikes for those who enjoy cycling. The B&B’s porches and patios provide relaxation and views of the countryside.

Irwin has visited 345 B&Bs throughout North America, and was co-founder of the Bed and Breakfast Association of Virginia back in 1987.

Caledonia’s Web site is www.bnb1812.com. The phone number is 540-675-3693 or 800-BNB-1812 (800-262-1812).

Ernst at work in Sperryville last February.

More big doings by Ernst

Drew Ernst has returned to Rappahannock. Ernst’s first visit to Haley Fine Art in Sperryville (formerly Long View Gallery) saw the creation of “Rappahannock,” an epic 8-by-8-foot oil painting that was acquired by a Richmond collector just as the last bit of varnish was being applied.

“We are delighted to have him back” says gallery owner Andrew Haley. “Drew brings a rare combination of talent and energy; the paintings speak for themselves.”

Ernst took a summer break to regroup and he turned up at the Butler Museum of American Art’s annual show in Ohio. His entry, “Sadness and Alcohol,” won the Philip Desind Award. “It was great to be back at the Butler,” says Ernst. “Wyeth is an important source of inspiration for me and I get a lot of energy from his pieces in the Butler’s collection. Seeing my work there is always a bit surreal for me; winning is nice, too.”

Ernst has three large paintings in process in Sperryville. Two are in the front gallery of Haley Fine Art; a third, an 8-by-13-foot panel, is being developed at another location. The public is invited to come meet the artist and see the works in progress.

Ernst’s works can also be seen on haleyfineart.com, as well as drewernstart.com. Haley Fine Art is open 10 to 6 daily, closed Tuesday and Wednesday.

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